If a court-ordered you to appear on a specified date and time, it is essential that you do so. In Northern Virginia, a failure to appear (FTA) could cause the judge to issue a bench warrant for your arrest. If the judge issues a bench warrant, this is an entirely separate offense from the original charge you were facing. If you go to trial and the court drops the initial charges, or the case ends with an acquittal, you could still face penalties for the warrant and failing to appear in court when required.
As long as that bench warrant for your arrest is outstanding, you risk the chance of an officer detaining you. If you missed a court date, it is imperative you contact a skillful NoVa failure to appear lawyer right away. A criminal defense attorney could file the necessary paperwork and get the court to drop your warrant.
Under Virginia Code § 19.2-128, when a person does not appear in court as required, after notice, they will lose any bond given for their release. This means that the court will forfeit the money unless that party can show good cause for missing the court date.
Additionally, anyone facing or previously charged with a felony conviction who fails to appear in court may receive a Class 6 felony. Anyone facing or accused of a misdemeanor offense may receive a Class 1 misdemeanor after missing a court date. A NoVa attorney could explain the potential penalties someone may face if they are charged with failure to appear.
If a person does not show up for their court-ordered jury duty, the judge could summon them to explain the reason for their absence. Failure to appear for jury duty may result in fines, and sometimes the court may decide to issue a warrant for their arrest. If a person missed jury duty and believes they have a warrant out for their arrest, they should consult with an FTA lawyer in NoVa to discuss their options.
Failure to appear in a court of law can lead to severe penalties and additional criminal charges. Even minor traffic violations can lead to serious charges if a person misses a court-ordered appearance. Fortunately, a lawyer in NoVa may be able to help someone avoid failure to appear charges in some situations. For instance, an attorney may file a motion to withdraw the warrant with the court. Generally, with the petition and a promise from the attorney that the defendant will appear for the next court appearance, the judge may withdraw the charges.
There are quite a few justifiable reasons that a person may miss a court appearance. A seasoned NoVa failure to appear lawyer could help argue your reasons for missing your court date and protect you from any additional consequences, such as a bench warrant. To determine what your next steps should be, schedule a case consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.
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